Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Heroes: The Scott Scanlon Memorial Hour

"Heroes" spoilers coming up just as soon as I explain to my daughter that you don't have to cry over spilled milk...

Okay, so let's go through the checklist:
  • Someone will fly. Abso-damn-lutely. Peter's escape from HRG and the Haitian was by far the coolest moment of the episode, if not the coolest thing on the show since Nathan went super-sonic over the Vegas skies. Wasn't even so much about the FX as the stakes and the realization that Peter has pulled an Obi-Wan and become more powerful than we could possibly imagine.
  • Someone will die. Sure, though Simone only barely qualifies as a "someone" on this show. In that way, it reminded me of the season two "90210" episode where Scott Scanlon -- a character who was technically part of the first season cast but quickly phased out -- accidentally shot himself, which was preceded by ads boasting, "Tonight, they lose one of their own!" I've been ready for Simone to be gone for a long time now, so in that respect I'd much rather lose her than, say, Nathan, but Simone's been a non-entity for so long that her death would have been better left unhyped.

Peter growing into his abilities was the episode's highlight, but I also enjoyed Claire confronting her dad. Question: I know she's afraid of being seen as a freak, but given her desire to protect her mom, couldn't she have showed the doctor evidence of her healing powers to lend credence to the mind-wiping story? Also, nice timing to have Claire openly defying HRG just as three armed -- albeit well-intentioned -- gunmen break into their home and take them hostage.

Speaking of which, while Parkman remains useless on his own or with his wife, I liked him teaming up with Radioactive Man and our new arrival, Bluetooth Girl (feel free to invent your own wi-fi nickname). If we're still positing "Heroes" as the un-"Lost," here's a case where characters are actually getting together to pool information and actively seek answers, and bravo to that.

Boo, on the other hand, to Mohinder being a colossal imbecile. Even if he's somehow too dense to put two and two together with his travelling companion's brand-new migraines and the Sylar-induced death of a woman who was constantly getting migraines, he has to realize that Sylar is following him in some way. I don't know how many potential heroes are on The List, but the odds have to be microscopic on Mohinder and Sylar arriving at the exact same time in Bozeman, Montana to meet one of them. Nobody else has The List, as far as he knows, so he's just leading Sylar to these poor people. If I'm Mohinder, I go home and build myself a safe room and leave everyone else alone, you know?

Glad to see that Hiro's powers are still somewhat intact, though the trick with the bullet seemed more telekinesis than time-bending, and I'll miss Ando's presence as his sidekick. Those two had good chemistry, and I hope they didn't send him away just as an excuse to ditch the subtitles.

What did everybody else think?

36 comments:

Heather K said...

And look, Stan Lee drove the bus! Much better then in previous weeks. MY house was glad to lose Simone, and we loved Peter getting all powerful and heroic. Can't wait until next week.

DonBoy said...

Random notes:

I think Hiro's power did change a little, and not just by sloppiness by the writers either. And I enjoyed the (money-saving) step of suggesting a gunfight plus a car explosion or fire without showing us directly, while Hiro and Ando talk. (Didn't the police seem awfully uninterested in these two guys wandering around that crime scene?) I don't really believe that Ando's going away for good, though.

I'm finding Sylar-as-Zane to be oddly likeable. Plus: "What's that in your heart"? "Murder". Bwaaa-ha-ha, indeed.

The TiVo log line for next week refers to Mr. Bennett as "H.R.G.", which seems a little too fannish to me. But I'm the guy who really hated the fact that the Buffy characters eventually started calling themselves "Scoobies".

Scotty C said...

Long time reader, new poster.

Hiro didn't seem to know how the bullet was deflected -- in that Ando asked him if he did it and he wasn't sure. Maybe -- just maybe -- Peter was there by harnessing Hiro's time bending power, was invisible and used telekinesis to push back the bullet/gun.

Or Hiro's power has a fight/flight response to save him -- although your right, it seemed more like telekinesis than time bending.

Kristin said...

I thought maybe Hiro reversed time for that split second. But then there wouldn't have been that look of shock on Vegas Girl's face...would there?

Glad Peter is getting angry. Better than the wimpy younger brother we've had to live with for awhile now.

So glad Simone is gone. They surprised me with that.

Lindy said...

Good episode -- although I'm a little worried about Peter becoming so powerful, so quickly. I'm not sure it's good for the show if one character is clearly a lot more powerful than the others. That said, I hope there's a Peter-Sylar rematch now that they both have tons of abilities to throw at each other.

I can't wait for the Bennett household showdown next week.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was just me, but Peter seemed like he might be moving to the dark side at the end. It would definitely be interesting if he ends up the villain next season.

I agree, though, that it doesn't seem right for him to be so much more powerful than the others. However, I have a feeling that Mohinder's mention of his medicines to get rid of the powers weren't just coincidence. They'll probably end up using it on Peter at some point.

Dan Coyle said...

Despite the fact that the episode was credited to Jeph Loeb I liked it quite a bit- when decent actors spout his horrifically cliched dialogue (he's the Thomas Friedman of comics, and that's an insult to Thomas Friedman) they go down a lot easier.

At this point, I find myself liking Mrs. Parkman more than I like Parkman himself. I assume the actress is pregnant, because she's showing awfully quick- isn't the story still taking place between Oct. 2 (Hiro's first jaunt to NY) and November 8 (the day after Nathan's election and Isaac's murder, likely by Sylar)?

I liked Ando and Hiro's conversation in the bus. It was cute and a funny way to stage it.

I felt the Claire/Mr. Bennet stuff was the strongest aspect of the episode. Mr. Bennet is clearly not right in the head, but he honestly loves his family- if only he weren't such a control freak. Coleman and Panettiere really brought their A game to the scenes in the hospital. I loved how the camera lingered on Mr. Bennet as Coleman's head darted around, showing that he's terrified because he really does not know how to "fix it".

As regular readers of this blog's comment section know, I'm a big fan of Mr. Bennet, so I'm pumped next week that the episode is about him. He may be a bad guy, but he sees himself as a hero. And isn't that always the way?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I thought maybe Hiro reversed time for that split second. But then there wouldn't have been that look of shock on Vegas Girl's face...would there?

And, more to the point, it's not like he reversed time and then grabbed Ando and ran away. They just stayed there, and after the gun went back in the bullet, Tom Cullen tackled her. M-O-O-N, that spells "telekinesis." Laws, yes.

velvetcannibal said...

I think that Hiro's power had to do with not just manipulating time, but the whole space-time continuum as he did originally. Except for when he initially teleported to New York we haven't seen the space manipulation much anymore, so that element is forgotten. I think he reversed time and then manipulated space, but it wasn't through telekenesis. It's just part of his original power.

I'm explaining this so poorly. Oh well.

Loved Peter flying. Loved his "with great power comes great responsibility" moment. Did NOT see Simone walking in there. The tension was racheted up so fast in that scene that I didn't have time to think about a fake out.

Anonymous said...

donboy - re: H.R.G., I saw Hayden P on Regis & Kelly recently and she said that's what they call him in the script. She talked about referring to him as H.R.G. to fans or reporters and half the people going "huh?"

Devin McCullen said...

I'm mad at myself for not remembering who Ted was at the beginning, because they gave you the "Look behind you, Radioactive Man!" moment.

As for Mohinder, I'm not sure whether he knows that Sylar is killing people in order to steal their powers. So he might not make the logical leaps that we're expecting of him. (Besides, even if he figures out he's travelling with Sylar, what the heck do you want him to do?)

The thing about what Hiro did is that it looked to me like the bullet went back into the gun AND the flash of the firing reversed itself. I'm not sure how that let her be tackled, though. (And yes, the off-screen fight was very amusing.)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Devin, what I'm saying is that, even if I forgive Mohinder for not realizing that his traveling is really Sylar, he has to recognize that Sylar is following them, and that if he keeps looking for other people with abilities, he'll only be leading Sylar to them, too.

Lyle said...

Maybe it was just me, but Peter seemed like he might be moving to the dark side at the end. It would definitely be interesting if he ends up the villain next season.

At the pace the series is moving, I'm wondering if Dark Peter will be the season's finale... which brings up the question of what to fight in season two. Here's hoping Heroes doesn't meet up with Desperate Housewives syndrome (well plotted first season that doesn't have a story for the second).

As for Hiro, the only explanation I can come up with is perhaps he's figured out (subconsciously) how to reverse time in isolated packets of physical space. He's been able to exempt people from his power in the past, so it'd make sense if he could do the reverse. Still, this would be the first instance of reversing time.

Jennifer Jaroch said...

Lyle: I read an interview with Tim Kring (the creator) and he said he's already mapped out the story for 5 seasons. Maybe he learned from Lost.

Loved Peter's flying. Didn't like so much his invisible terrorizing of Isaac. Didn't think Simone's death was very powerful. I agree that if they had said nothing about the death on promos it might have. I was expecting someone with powers to die. The Claire/Dad stuff was fantastic. Cannot wait for next week. Since Mohinder can't seem to wise up fast enough, maybe that Indian kid can visit him in his dreams again and fast! ;)

stan said...

Maybe Ando has powers?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Jennifer, back at the press tour in July, Kring promised that most of the big questions of season one would wrap up within season one and that he had some ideas rattling around for later season-long arcs.

He may have come up with more detailed plans now that the show is a hit, but I also wouldn't put it past him -- or any TV writer, really -- to be so focused on getting this season done that he thinks, "Ah, I'll come up with something new during the hiatus."

CM said...

I'm with Donboy -- I think Ando will stick around, follow Hiro to Vegas, and step in and save him at some crucial moment. It wouldn't make sense for him to vanish at this point, just after his character started taking some steps on his own and Hiro starts questioning whether a partner is a good thing.

J said...

I liked Dale. Though her power wasn't interesting, it was a shame she was introduced as a Red Shirt this week.

She wasn't a cheerleader or webcam stripper, so she wasn't allowed to live.

Niffer said...

Glad to see Simone go. Yay!

For how long has Isaac been painting pictures of Peter? They didn't seem to be that far into the future. In fact, they seemed more clairvoyant than future seeing.

I loved how after the gun battle Hiro and Ando were happy to see the Vespa escape unscathed :)

I agree with Lyle that Hiro reversed an isolated time stream (the bullet). Very cool.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Niffer, I've also noticed that, in the last few episodes, many of Isaac's paintings have been of things either happening at that very moment or in the very near future. I don't know if we're supposed to assume that his powers have changed now that he's sober, or if the writers are just bending them to fit the story.

Dennis Wilson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dennis Wilson said...

I couldn't agree more with Dan Coyle about Jeph Loeb's cloying, overwrought scripting -- his Superman/Batman comic was long, long, long with pointless out-of-character internal monologues by the two title characters, usually in parallel, and I quivered when I heard he had joined the Lost staff in Season 2.

But this is one time where the written-by-committee nature of series television is actually a benefit, as it assures that overall, the show doesn't "sound" too much like any one writer other than the show runner, who usually scripts the final pass.

Anonymous said...

Re: Isaac's painting.

HRG taught him how to control his powers, and he was focusing on trying to find Peter in as close to the now as possible, so it makes sense that the paintings show near future bits.

Plus, if Peter is the Incredible Exploding Man then his future is not very long.

Taleena

Jaynee said...

Phew! I'm so glad I'm not the only one that keeps saying "M-O-O-N spells Moon" whenever that guy is on TV. Alan, I'm so in love with you...

Dan Jardine said...

I had the same intuitive reaction as Stan to the bullet scene. That is, I believe that Ando has some powers that he is, as of yet, unaware.

Dan Coyle said...

Although I loved Coach and The Stand, Bill Fagerbakke will always be Patrick Starfish to me.

"Hey Patrick, why are you so mad?" "GRRRR... I CAN'T SEE MY FOREHEAD."

Hey, who's going to the NY Comic Con this weekend to See the Cheerleader, Get an Autograph?

You know, if Mr. Bennet really cared about his family, he would have tried to stop Claire from recording that song for the Cinderella III soundtrack. YIKES!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Dan, if my babysitting situation doesn't fall through, I'll be there for a while on Saturday, though I'd much rather see Number Six again than The Cheerleader.

velvetcannibal said...

Re: comic con

I'm going to NY Comic Con. I don't know if I'll see the cheerleader. I may be too busy feeling like the only other girl in the place. I have the three day pass to keep my options open. I'm hoping to catch the BSG viewing. I'm also hoping that the latest episode will stop the slow drain of season-2.5-like suckage.

Dan Jardine said...

Hey, did anybody else catch the ER product placement moment this week, when one of the doctors, who'd just done some work on a cheerleader, mumbled, "Save the cheerleader, save the world"?

At least we didn't have to suffer through a crossover episode with Dr. Kovac working up one of the mutants, while Mohinder stumbled and fumbled his way around the OR.

Eric said...

Regarding Isaac's paintings, I remember an Asimov short story ("The Dead Past") about a scientist who creates a Time Viewer. His wife begins using it to obsessively watch their dead daughter, and then his boss asks the question "When does the past end?" and realizes that it could be used to spy on anyone in real time. Something similar seems to be happening with Isaac- as he learns to focus his power, he can paint things that are just barely in the future, which works out to clairvoyance.

And Ando will be back. The Hero always needs his friends more than he thinks he does.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Jaroch: The creators of Lost said they had the show planned out to about 5 seasons back when the show first started, so Heroes isn't breaking any new ground there.

Anonymous said...

Nobody's pointed this out yet and I was curious to know what others thought -- In Peter's vision of the future, Simone is one of the people watching him go boom. How does everybody think that discrepancy effects the storyline?

Christy said...

I let out a whoop when I saw Stan Lee on the bus.

Am I the only one who saw Dale as a homage to Farscape? The minute I saw her I thought Furlow.

I loved this episode. I hated Hiro dumping Ando, and I'm hoping Ando held on to the car and is driving behind the bus.

Peter is certainly sexier as a darker character. How sick am I that I think Sylar is sort of cute?

dez said...

[I]Nobody's pointed this out yet and I was curious to know what others thought -- In Peter's vision of the future, Simone is one of the people watching him go boom. How does everybody think that discrepancy effects the storyline? [/I}

Not only Simone, but Ando, who is standing next to Hiro. That part makes me think Ando isn't going away. Perhaps Peter will somehow channel Claire's healing power and save Simone? Or develop the ability to see ghosts?

SPOILER ALERT:I read an interview with the actress who plays Simone saying she's in a couple more eps. She also said one more character is scheduled to die, but she had the good sense not to give away the gender, at least END SPOILER

Jennifer Jaroch said...

Alan: Thanks for setting me straight, mister! ;) Actually, I know I read that 5 year thing somewhere, so either they misreported or misunderstood what TK said/meant. By the way, Alan, I do like how much you respond within your own blog. Not my typical experience; I like it!

Anonymous: Interesting about Lost. I had never heard that before. I guess this means they had it planned out to lose so many viewers?! ;)

Christy: just as sick as me! I think Sylar's hot. I'm so cwazy! My husband made me pick between Sawyer and Jack on Lost. I had to pick Sawyer b/c, in the end, I'll always lust for the bad boy. It's a sickness.

Anonymous said...

As far as the 5-year plans go, this may be practically prehistoric TV-wise, but let's not forget that J. Michael Straczynski did it successfully in 1993-1998 with "Babylon 5". It had a real 5-year arc, with foreshadowing in the first episode that would take years to fully play out, and real character development and change from beginning to end. And there was even a thousand year's worth of backstory and future plot hinted at throughout. I think he was the first.